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New Camera





Tony The Tiger
I got a new Canon EOS Rebel T3i week before last. I paid $511 for the camera and an 18-55mm lens. I purchased it through the Canon Customer Loyalty program by turning in the body of my old Canon Powershot TX1. I think I essentially got a full resale value for the tradein. I noticed two things the following week. The Best Buy sale price for this model was $749 at the time. The week before Canon released the Canon EOS Rebel T4i. I now wish that the T4i were available in the Customer Loyalty Program because I want to be able to purchase the new processor. The T4i uses DIGIC 5 and my camera uses DIGIC 4. Among the things the new processor can do is shoot 5fps in continuous shooting mode, while my camera only shoots at 3.7 fps. I still have a lot of learning to do with the new camera. I spend some time last night taking pictures of the full moon and of some large buildings. The night view shooting is a huge step up from my old TX1.
Tony The Tiger
Tony The Tiger wrote:
I got a new Canon EOS Rebel T3i week before last. I paid $511 for the camera and an 18-55mm lens. I purchased it through the Canon Customer Loyalty program by turning in the body of my old Canon Powershot TX1. I think I essentially got a full resale value for the tradein. I noticed two things the following week. The Best Buy sale price for this model was $749 at the time. The week before Canon released the Canon EOS Rebel T4i. I now wish that the T4i were available in the Customer Loyalty Program because I want to be able to purchase the new processor. The T4i uses DIGIC 5 and my camera uses DIGIC 4. Among the things the new processor can do is shoot 5fps in continuous shooting mode, while my camera only shoots at 3.7 fps. I still have a lot of learning to do with the new camera. I spend some time last night taking pictures of the full moon and of some large buildings. The night view shooting is a huge step up from my old TX1.


I got a 55-250 mm lens on eBay to complement the OEM 18-55 mm that came from Canon. The extra lens came without a lens cap. I contacted my eBay seller and he was not sure what happened. The lens came in what appeared to be OEM packaging and shrinkwrap My guess is that the eBay seller got some closeout stock and sold it at a good price ($149.00 for a lens that Canon sells at over $200). I imaging that when Canon realizes that they packaged a bunch of lenses without lens caps they sell them off to someone who can dump them on eBay. Canon agreed to send me a lens cap on the side as a courtesy. Does anyone agree with my assessment of what happened?
william
Your assessment sounds possible, but the other possibility is that you got a refurb which in some cases doesn't include a lens cap. Still, if it works and you get your cap, I think you'll be fine.

As for the T4i, I wouldn't worry about it too much. The improvements aren't significant enough to warrant the extra price premium, and $511 is a great deal for a T3i kit. I'll admit, the touchscreen interface might actually prove to be very useful, but as far as picture quality is concerned, you're not missing out on much. Remember, photography is an art, and the quality of the pictures depend more on you than on your equipment. Just pocket the extra money for better lenses and other accessories such as tripods and external flashes (depending on the type of photography you're going after).
Tony The Tiger
william wrote:
Your assessment sounds possible, but the other possibility is that you got a refurb which in some cases doesn't include a lens cap. Still, if it works and you get your cap, I think you'll be fine.

As for the T4i, I wouldn't worry about it too much. The improvements aren't significant enough to warrant the extra price premium, and $511 is a great deal for a T3i kit. I'll admit, the touchscreen interface might actually prove to be very useful, but as far as picture quality is concerned, you're not missing out on much. Remember, photography is an art, and the quality of the pictures depend more on you than on your equipment. Just pocket the extra money for better lenses and other accessories such as tripods and external flashes (depending on the type of photography you're going after).

In terms of accessories, I have both a basic full tripod and a couple mini tripods. The camera came with an 18 - 55 mm and I purchased a 55 - 250 mm lens. I have also ordered a basic UV filter and a tulip lens hood. I have ordered a camera case too. What other accessories are useful for the beginner.
william
Be sure that the tripods you have a sturdy enough to hold the weight of the T3i and your heaviest lens. An unstable tripod not only poses the risk of being pushed over by the wind (with your camera on it), but can also cause problems at longer exposures if the head can't keep the camera stable.

Your current lenses are great, the only thing I can suggest is a fixed focal length (35mm or 50mm depending on what you're shooting) high aperture lens for speed, low light, and excellent handheld performance. If you get one of those, you might find yourself using it more than any of the others because it allows you to focus on your photography and shoot efficiently. Note, on a cropped camera, 35mm very nearly matches the field of view of a human eye, but some prefer 50mm lenses. But, you don't necessarily need one right now. Give your current equipment a try and if you feel you need more, then go for it.

Also, a lens hood is very useful, so good move on getting one of those. UV filters, on the other hand, aren't that useful with today's cameras. At best, they're good for protecting your lens. Be warned that some cheap UV filters actually degrade quality.

As for other accessories, a remote trigger can certainly be of use for things like family portraits and long exposure tripod shots. You might be able to find a compatible one on eBay for around $2. I suggest an external flash as well, mostly so you can bounce the flash off the walls or the ceiling.

For the most part though, your current setup will serve you well. Be sure to learn everything about your camera and other equipment and pay close attention to the types of photos you want to take. Then you can decide what accessories suit you best. Very Happy
Tony The Tiger
william wrote:
Be sure that the tripods you have a sturdy enough to hold the weight of the T3i and your heaviest lens. An unstable tripod not only poses the risk of being pushed over by the wind (with your camera on it), but can also cause problems at longer exposures if the head can't keep the camera stable.


With the longer 55-250 lens, the mini tripods get challenged. I have to extend the legs to double or triple length so that the center of gravity of the camera is within the triangle formed by the feet of the tripod. I don't find that I use the minitripods in situations where wind is an issue.

william wrote:
Your current lenses are great, the only thing I can suggest is a fixed focal length (35mm or 50mm depending on what you're shooting) high aperture lens for speed, low light, and excellent handheld performance.


I may at some point get a fixed focal length lense. Please recap the reasons for doing so.

william wrote:
As for other accessories, a remote trigger can certainly be of use for things like family portraits and long exposure tripod shots. You might be able to find a compatible one on eBay for around $2. I suggest an external flash as well, mostly so you can bounce the flash off the walls or the ceiling.


I am thinking about the external flash
Tony The Tiger
william wrote:
Your assessment sounds possible, but the other possibility is that you got a refurb which in some cases doesn't include a lens cap. Still, if it works and you get your cap, I think you'll be fine.

As for the T4i, I wouldn't worry about it too much. The improvements aren't significant enough to warrant the extra price premium, and $511 is a great deal for a T3i kit. I'll admit, the touchscreen interface might actually prove to be very useful, but as far as picture quality is concerned, you're not missing out on much. Remember, photography is an art, and the quality of the pictures depend more on you than on your equipment. Just pocket the extra money for better lenses and other accessories such as tripods and external flashes (depending on the type of photography you're going after).


I forgot to ask. What is the perception of the touchscreen interface? Is that the next wave in digital cameras? I have a touchscreen printer at home and don't really consider the touchscreen to be that big a deal. I am wondering if I might feel the same way about a new camera. Is there a lot of excitement about DSLRs with touchscreens or not. I have not looked at reviews of this feature. Maybe I should.
Tony The Tiger
Tony The Tiger wrote:
I got a new Canon EOS Rebel T3i week before last. I paid $511 for the camera and an 18-55mm lens. I purchased it through the Canon Customer Loyalty program by turning in the body of my old Canon Powershot TX1. I think I essentially got a full resale value for the tradein. I noticed two things the following week. The Best Buy sale price for this model was $749 at the time. The week before Canon released the Canon EOS Rebel T4i. I now wish that the T4i were available in the Customer Loyalty Program because I want to be able to purchase the new processor. The T4i uses DIGIC 5 and my camera uses DIGIC 4. Among the things the new processor can do is shoot 5fps in continuous shooting mode, while my camera only shoots at 3.7 fps. I still have a lot of learning to do with the new camera. I spend some time last night taking pictures of the full moon and of some large buildings. The night view shooting is a huge step up from my old TX1.


I just realized on eBay that the T4i body only sells for about $800 and the T3i body only sells for about $550. People who know the difference must place a lot of value on the new features. What are the most valuable new features?
william
There are several reasons to get a fixed focal length lens, specifically 35mm on a cropped camera. First of all, they're fast to focus, so it's a lot easier to capture the moments you'll come to cherish. Second, they have high apertures. The inexpensive ones are as high as f/1.8G. Spend just a bit more and you can go all the way up to f/1.4G. Third, they're light. A T3i is a pretty compact DSLR, and a 35mm lens makes it very easy to carry around. The most important benefit is how it can help artistically. The field of view is very close to our own eyes, allowing for more natural photography. It also naturally causes you to focus on composition and lighting instead of technical details, which at least in my opinion allows for better photography.

As for the touchscreen interface, I hear it's pretty good and it allows you quicker access to a lot of functions. That said, Canon is not putting these touchscreens in their higher end cameras. They already exist on point and shoots, so these touchscreens are targeted more at the casual user. As it stands, I think the photography community still prefers mechanical switches and buttons. But it's nice to have.

The pricing on eBay is historically just like you find it. The updated models tend to cost $200-$300 more, just because they're newer. The same thing happened on the Nikon side when the D3100 was upgraded to the D3200. The differences were minor, but the pricing was not. Honestly, in the case of the T4i, video is the most significant improvement is video because it can continuously autofocus and comes with stereo microphones. As far as stills are concerned, it can also shoot in 5 FPS bursts over the 3.7 of the T3i. These are just minor evolutionary steps, though, and there aren't that many new features that makes it a significant step up. I maintain that it's a better idea to buy the cheaper T3i and spend the saved money on lenses.
Tony The Tiger
william wrote:
There are several reasons to get a fixed focal length lens, specifically 35mm on a cropped camera. First of all, they're fast to focus, so it's a lot easier to capture the moments you'll come to cherish. Second, they have high apertures. The inexpensive ones are as high as f/1.8G. Spend just a bit more and you can go all the way up to f/1.4G. Third, they're light. A T3i is a pretty compact DSLR, and a 35mm lens makes it very easy to carry around. The most important benefit is how it can help artistically. The field of view is very close to our own eyes, allowing for more natural photography. It also naturally causes you to focus on composition and lighting instead of technical details, which at least in my opinion allows for better photography.


I am still thinking a lot about lenses. Mine came with an 18mm-55mm lens. Without much thought I bought a 55mm-250mm lens. However, I have now noticed that 75mm-300mm lenses are cheaper than 55mm-250mm lens and it seems to me I would be better off with the 75mm-300mm. In fact this made me think about the xxmm-400mm lens, but those are several times as expensive as either of the aforementioned lenses. Canon EF-S 55-250mm F/4.0-5.6 IS Lens start around $150-155 new. Canon EF 75-300mm F/4.0-5.6 USM III Lens start around $135-140. What seems odd to me is that Canon EF 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6 L IS USM Lens start around $1500 and even generics such as Sigma 120-400mm F/4.5-5.6 DG HSM APO OS Lens For Canon start around $800. I don't understand the price jump.
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